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My Story. No tl;dr here. My hope is that you will read the whole thing

Friends,
I pray that this finds you well. You don't know me. For that matter, I don't know you either. What I do know is the love of the Messiah, and it is evident that you do as well. What a friend we have in Jesus then, who allows us to be fully known to each other through a similar calling, to minister and bring the gospel to those outside the gates - the rejected, marginalized, excommunicated and hurting - those who would be called an abomination by some who seek to claim God and Jesus for themselves, while ignoring the weightier matters of the Torah - justice, mercy, and trust.
I only recently became aware of you, and I am moved to reach out to you. In writing this brief overview of my story, I am hoping to generate a discussion and allyship, because I have seen and experienced firsthand the destructive nature of the "traditional" theology in the lives of LGBTQ believers, myself being one of them. I do not believe that I need to go into much detail about these things, since what has been made clear to me is clear to you as well.
I am a thirty something lesbian transwoman from Texas (read - I have that double gay). I was raised in a traditional southern baptist home, and I came to know Yeshua as my savior at the ripe old age of 5, while listening to Billy Graham on the TV. By that point in my life, I was already in the throes of being refined into the missional nature of God's calling on my life, even though it would take another 25 years for me to understand what that might look like, and three more after that for me to fully submit to it. I was just two years old when my parents separated, and 4 when they were divorced. At the time, and indeed into my twenties, I blamed myself for that, despite my mom’s courageous effort to the contrary. My dad disappeared out of my life, only making himself present when it was beneficial to him. He passed away in 2017, and I am pretty sure he didn't make it into the kingdom, but I remain hopeful that I am wrong about that. Being raised by a single mother, I knew early that the church, while caring for her and I, didn't condone their divorce. I have witnessed and shared in the shame and disgust that she struggled with until the day my dad passed. So when I fully came out, and began my transition, I experienced the typical "there was a disconnect in your childhood that gave you over to a propensity to sin" argument, and it hurt. It hurt to be told that being trans was a product of "sinful" parents, and that there was absolutely no way for me to be God fearing unless I abandoned the things which certain people considered to be sinful, and stopped acting contrary to nature. For reasons that would become known to me later, this didn't sit right.
A great many things have happened in my life, and my filters through which I view the world have been shaped through these experiences. My parents’ divorce was one of those. I didn't know how to quantify it at the time, but reflecting on my childhood there were indicators that I was trans. I used to pray to wake up a female as a young child. I always knew I was different, but I had no idea how to tell anyone that I felt like my body was incongruent with my mind, and how much it hurt to look in the mirror and know that I was different from other girls. Add to this that my mom and I were living in a community where I was the only white kid in my elementary school. It was a recipe for disaster already. My mom, in a valiant attempt to introduce me to positive male role models, unaware of my secret struggles, enrolled me in the boy scouts. I was about 10 years old when I was raped by my tent mate at boy scout camp. It would take another 20 something years for me to work through that alone and by the grace of God I have been able to overcome the damage caused by that and forgive my rapist.
Sometime around the age of 12, I came out for the first time to my mom. It was 1999, and I was beginning to understand that my mind and physical body were not in alignment with each other. I sat down with her one night and cried and told her the truth, that I felt like I wasn’t a boy, but a girl. I confessed to her that I knew this was sin, and would surely be sent to hell for it, and I just wanted to be normal. She did the best she could at the time, and consoled me, cried with me, and for the first time told me that she wasn't sure that my feelings were sinful. At the time, the best information and wisdom that we could seek were available at the church, and so that's where I went, especially since my struggle was with so-called sin. We were attending and active in the drama ministry at our church, I was active in my youth group, and on fire for the Lord. At a Wednesday youth service, I met with my youth pastor and confessed my truth. As you can imagine, I was bible thumped right back into the closet that I had just come out of. I won't mention his name, because I have yet to have the opportunity to communicate with him my forgiveness for his reaction, but I am eagerly awaiting the chance to do so.
In the years that followed, I attempted to do what most of us have done. I escaped into hyper-masculinity, and fervently tried to "pray the gay away". I started lifting weights, playing football, and every other masculine thing I could think of. I even joined FFA, tried my hardest to become an “all American man”, and adopted the racist, misogynistic, bigoted views of my new "friends". (Note- I wasn’t raised this way, nor does God condone this behavior. I was acting out of phobic views for myself. I ask for forgiveness from my family in Christ who have been directly or indirectly harmed by my actions and supposed views, and I have repented of these things.) During this time, I secretly explored my sexuality, and began walking away from God. Even though I never denied Him as my savior, I might as well have by the way living. I continued to struggle with what I termed at the time "cross-dressing" ( I don’t care for this term anymore, because it sexualizes and fetishizes trans people) since there wasn’t a better term for it. I indulged in the excess of life, without much regard for the kind of damage I was doing to my soul, and God's heart. As I progressed though my late teens and twenties, I abused both drugs and alcohol, often to the detriment to those around me, and to myself even though I didn't know it.
I was 21 when my first child, a daughter, was born out of wedlock. I was in a toxic relationship, and the pregnancy was purely unintentional on our behalf. Neither of us wanted a child at the time, however due only to God's grace we didn't abort her. (Note 2 – I fully support a woman’s right to choose, and I believe that the government should have no say in what we as humans do with our bodies.) I am so thankful for His intervention in this, since that was a viable option at the time, and could very well have been the outcome. We separated and decided that the best thing we could do was to raise her to understand how she came to be, and that it was much better for everyone if her mom and I weren't together.
I was working on a geotechnical research vessel in Mexico when I felt the call on my life to become a firefighter. So, at 23, I left the oilfield behind and began my journey to be obedient to this calling. I attended fire academy and EMT school (both are required to be a certified professional firefighter in Texas) and graduated with a 4.0 gpa at the top of my class. Please bear in mind that my secret struggle reared its ugly head in my life the ENTIRE time. I was able to keep it secret though, because since the first bible beating, I was determined to keep my struggles a secret. I carefully crafted this "all American man" image over years and was able to keep it up through cleverly contrived myths and lies, to everyone, including myself. In 2013 I met my now ex-wife and began dating her, and we were quickly in love, and married in 2014. This is where it gets interesting, and I believe the moment that God began actively working me and shaping me into the woman I am today.
Before we were married, and for the first time since I was 12, I confided in another human about my secret. To my surprise, she encouraged me to explore this side of myself. I actually remember praying that God would bring me a woman who would accept me for who I was, so when she did, I instantly (and wrongly, as I would later find out) believed that I was supposed to spend my life with her. Even though on the surface we were the average cis-heterosexual married couple, we were anything but behind closed doors. Shortly after we were married, we experienced two miscarriages back to back. I didn't know any better, but our relationship was toxic and destructive for both of us from the outset. In 2015, we attended a marriage retreat for firefighter couples, and it was there that she confessed to me that it was her desire to open up our marriage to a third party. Since she was so accepting of my secret, I felt like I needed to reciprocate, even though it made me angry and jealous on the inside. This same weekend, we got pregnant with our son, who was born premature in February of 2016. We stayed married, and tried our hardest to keep up appearances, even though we led a secret life. Both of us were so well versed in hiding ourselves by this point, it came almost naturally.
Fast forward to July 31, 2017. The date is burned in my mind because that is when everything changed. I was serving as a Driveoperator in the fire department(it was a full time career for me, not volunteer), and part of that role was to "ride-up" or take the place of the station lieutenant in their absence. It was a day like any other, I left for work about 4:30 am, and we had our usual fight that morning, which had become the norm. I arrived at work, tried to put it behind me, and began my duties that day as an acting LT. About noon, we were called to a house fire in a neighboring territory, on a 2nd alarm - a call for more resources. We arrived and quickly fell into our roles on the fireground. This story in and of itself would probably take me an hour to tell, so for the sake of being brief, I'll get to the moment where I came as close to death as I have ever come. About two hours into fighting the fire, I was in command of the crews operating on the 2nd floor of the house when the building collapsed around us. I was hit by a roof beam and knocked down the stairs, dislocating my shoulder and breaking my nose. This is where I must stop and proclaim the mercy of the living God. Had that beam hit me just a few inches to the right, I would not be here today. I am convinced in that moment God spared me, and my colleagues. Mercifully, I was the only one injured out of about 6 of us present when the collapse happened.
During my recovery, I attempted suicide three separate times, and became heavily addicted to marijuana and amphetamines. I have since been healed of these things, and I am happy to go into more detail about any specifics of my life with you at another time. I am only briefly touching on them here so that you can have an accurate understanding of the thick mire of death that God himself reached down and plucked me out of.
In order to tie all this together, it was during my recovery that God began leading me down the path that would eventually lead me to this story that I am writing to you today. I began to question the position of the church about people like me, since the "official" stance didn't include one critical point. It failed to consider those of us who were already believers. As I began to come out, and lead a double life, my ex and I drifted apart, separated, and divorced. I came out for the second time to my mom, but this time she was determined to see my through this journey, as I was determined to see it through myself, understanding that we are absolutely forgiven of our sins by the blood of the Messiah, and in executing the judgement common to all humanity against himself he wiped away the bill of charges against us, and we were separated from our old nature as far as the east is from the west. To put it frankly, this has been the most abandonment filled journey of my life. That scared me, since abandonment was probably one of my biggest fears, after being abandoned many times in my past. However, I discovered that the further I got from others; the closer God drew me to Him. How could this be, this amazing love, that in my "sin", a holy God, would draw closer to an unholy and dirty human? I know now that I was being prepared by him for my new mission.
While I am no longer a firefighteemt, I have maintained that God's calling on my life is to be a spiritual paramedic on the battlefield of society today, and specifically to others like myself, especially to the ones who have resigned themselves to the sex industry, since that’s the only place that actively validates them( at least on the surface). Finding you, and reading about others like me is, in my opinion, absolute confirmation of 1 Peter 2, where we are taught that never is a prophecy of scripture to be interpreted by an individual on their own, but that people moved by the Holy Spirit do the will of God. I am thankful that God has raised you up as allies.
I want to make it clear that I do not have the “theology” behind being trans all figured out. This is a journey, and it has taken me thirty plus years to arrive at this point. What I do know is that we as trans people are created by God to live a life worthy of His calling. I also know that we are at a deficit when it comes to discussion surrounding us, and right now, the loudest voices in the debate are those who would argue that anything outside of the proscribed gender binary cannot exist, and that we are making an active choice to decide what our gender is. No matter what your views are on the subject, the most important thing that you can do is trust someone who tells you that they don’t feel like they fit into this binary. We struggle with trusting even ourselves, so when we “come out” and we are met with being misgendered, either intentionally or otherwise, it is destructive. We as Christians know that the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy, so we should not do these things. I would encourage you to stand up for your trans siblings, and likewise for the trans community in general. You can trust that God will deliver a word that will settle the debate, just as He is doing for the rest of the community. My prayer is that we will all see the good fruits that come from simply acknowledging the struggles that trans/non-binary people deal with, and knowing that even though you may not have the answer, you have a concrete, solid foundation for how treat your fellow humans in the way Yeshua treated those who were considered unclean by society.
To my trans guys, gals, and non-binary pals, I want to offer you encouragement in your struggles, knowing that others like us throughout the world are struggling with the same fight, and you are not alone. The enemy tends to lie to us to make us feel like we are the only ones who are fighting this battle, and I hope to dismiss that lie. You aren’t alone, we exist, we are valid, and we are loved by God Most High for exactly who he created us to be. My prayer is that you will find alignment between your heart, body, soul, and mind, and that you will be at peace within yourselves.
I love you all with the love that flows from the Messiah,
Kaila
submitted by ADHDin4K to GayChristians [link] [comments]

My Story. No tl;dr here, I hope that you read the whole thing.

Friends,
I pray that this finds you well. You don't know me. For that matter, I don't know you either. What I do know is the love of the Messiah, and it is evident that you do as well. What a friend we have in Jesus then, who allows us to be fully known to each other through a similar calling, to minister and bring the gospel to those outside the gates - the rejected, marginalized, excommunicated and hurting - those who would be called an abomination by some who seek to claim God and Jesus for themselves, while ignoring the weightier matters of the Torah - justice, mercy, and trust.
I only recently became aware of you, and I am moved to reach out to you. In writing this brief overview of my story, I am hoping to generate a discussion and allyship, because I have seen and experienced firsthand the destructive nature of the "traditional" theology in the lives of LGBTQ believers, myself being one of them. I do not believe that I need to go into much detail about these things, since what has been made clear to me is clear to you as well.
I am a thirty something lesbian transwoman from Texas (read - I have that double gay). I was raised in a traditional southern baptist home, and I came to know Yeshua as my savior at the ripe old age of 5, while listening to Billy Graham on the TV. By that point in my life, I was already in the throes of being refined into the missional nature of God's calling on my life, even though it would take another 25 years for me to understand what that might look like, and three more after that for me to fully submit to it. I was just two years old when my parents separated, and 4 when they were divorced. At the time, and indeed into my twenties, I blamed myself for that, despite my mom’s courageous effort to the contrary. My dad disappeared out of my life, only making himself present when it was beneficial to him. He passed away in 2017, and I am pretty sure he didn't make it into the kingdom, but I remain hopeful that I am wrong about that. Being raised by a single mother, I knew early that the church, while caring for her and I, didn't condone their divorce. I have witnessed and shared in the shame and disgust that she struggled with until the day my dad passed. So when I fully came out, and began my transition, I experienced the typical "there was a disconnect in your childhood that gave you over to a propensity to sin" argument, and it hurt. It hurt to be told that being trans was a product of "sinful" parents, and that there was absolutely no way for me to be God fearing unless I abandoned the things which certain people considered to be sinful, and stopped acting contrary to nature. For reasons that would become known to me later, this didn't sit right.
A great many things have happened in my life, and my filters through which I view the world have been shaped through these experiences. My parents’ divorce was one of those. I didn't know how to quantify it at the time, but reflecting on my childhood there were indicators that I was trans. I used to pray to wake up a female as a young child. I always knew I was different, but I had no idea how to tell anyone that I felt like my body was incongruent with my mind, and how much it hurt to look in the mirror and know that I was different from other girls. Add to this that my mom and I were living in a community where I was the only white kid in my elementary school. It was a recipe for disaster already. My mom, in a valiant attempt to introduce me to positive male role models, unaware of my secret struggles, enrolled me in the boy scouts. I was about 10 years old when I was raped by my tent mate at boy scout camp. It would take another 20 something years for me to work through that alone and by the grace of God I have been able to overcome the damage caused by that and forgive my rapist.
Sometime around the age of 12, I came out for the first time to my mom. It was 1999, and I was beginning to understand that my mind and physical body were not in alignment with each other. I sat down with her one night and cried and told her the truth, that I felt like I wasn’t a boy, but a girl. I confessed to her that I knew this was sin, and would surely be sent to hell for it, and I just wanted to be normal. She did the best she could at the time, and consoled me, cried with me, and for the first time told me that she wasn't sure that my feelings were sinful. At the time, the best information and wisdom that we could seek were available at the church, and so that's where I went, especially since my struggle was with so-called sin. We were attending and active in the drama ministry at our church, I was active in my youth group, and on fire for the Lord. At a Wednesday youth service, I met with my youth pastor and confessed my truth. As you can imagine, I was bible thumped right back into the closet that I had just come out of. I won't mention his name, because I have yet to have the opportunity to communicate with him my forgiveness for his reaction, but I am eagerly awaiting the chance to do so.
In the years that followed, I attempted to do what most of us have done. I escaped into hyper-masculinity, and fervently tried to "pray the gay away". I started lifting weights, playing football, and every other masculine thing I could think of. I even joined FFA, tried my hardest to become an “all American man”, and adopted the racist, misogynistic, bigoted views of my new "friends". (Note- I wasn’t raised this way, nor does God condone this behavior. I was acting out of phobic views for myself. I ask for forgiveness from my family in Christ who have been directly or indirectly harmed by my actions and supposed views, and I have repented of these things.) During this time, I secretly explored my sexuality, and began walking away from God. Even though I never denied Him as my savior, I might as well have by the way living. I continued to struggle with what I termed at the time "cross-dressing" ( I don’t care for this term anymore, because it sexualizes and fetishizes trans people) since there wasn’t a better term for it. I indulged in the excess of life, without much regard for the kind of damage I was doing to my soul, and God's heart. As I progressed though my late teens and twenties, I abused both drugs and alcohol, often to the detriment to those around me, and to myself even though I didn't know it.
I was 21 when my first child, a daughter, was born out of wedlock. I was in a toxic relationship, and the pregnancy was purely unintentional on our behalf. Neither of us wanted a child at the time, however due only to God's grace we didn't abort her. (Note 2 – I fully support a woman’s right to choose, and I believe that the government should have no say in what we as humans do with our bodies.) I am so thankful for His intervention in this, since that was a viable option at the time, and could very well have been the outcome. We separated and decided that the best thing we could do was to raise her to understand how she came to be, and that it was much better for everyone if her mom and I weren't together.
I was working on a geotechnical research vessel in Mexico when I felt the call on my life to become a firefighter. So, at 23, I left the oilfield behind and began my journey to be obedient to this calling. I attended fire academy and EMT school (both are required to be a certified professional firefighter in Texas) and graduated with a 4.0 gpa at the top of my class. Please bear in mind that my secret struggle reared its ugly head in my life the ENTIRE time. I was able to keep it secret though, because since the first bible beating, I was determined to keep my struggles a secret. I carefully crafted this "all American man" image over years and was able to keep it up through cleverly contrived myths and lies, to everyone, including myself. In 2013 I met my now ex-wife and began dating her, and we were quickly in love, and married in 2014. This is where it gets interesting, and I believe the moment that God began actively working me and shaping me into the woman I am today.
Before we were married, and for the first time since I was 12, I confided in another human about my secret. To my surprise, she encouraged me to explore this side of myself. I actually remember praying that God would bring me a woman who would accept me for who I was, so when she did, I instantly (and wrongly, as I would later find out) believed that I was supposed to spend my life with her. Even though on the surface we were the average cis-heterosexual married couple, we were anything but behind closed doors. Shortly after we were married, we experienced two miscarriages back to back. I didn't know any better, but our relationship was toxic and destructive for both of us from the outset. In 2015, we attended a marriage retreat for firefighter couples, and it was there that she confessed to me that it was her desire to open up our marriage to a third party. Since she was so accepting of my secret, I felt like I needed to reciprocate, even though it made me angry and jealous on the inside. This same weekend, we got pregnant with our son, who was born premature in February of 2016. We stayed married, and tried our hardest to keep up appearances, even though we led a secret life. Both of us were so well versed in hiding ourselves by this point, it came almost naturally.
Fast forward to July 31, 2017. The date is burned in my mind because that is when everything changed. I was serving as a Driveoperator in the fire department(it was a full time career for me, not volunteer), and part of that role was to "ride-up" or take the place of the station lieutenant in their absence. It was a day like any other, I left for work about 4:30 am, and we had our usual fight that morning, which had become the norm. I arrived at work, tried to put it behind me, and began my duties that day as an acting LT. About noon, we were called to a house fire in a neighboring territory, on a 2nd alarm - a call for more resources. We arrived and quickly fell into our roles on the fireground. This story in and of itself would probably take me an hour to tell, so for the sake of being brief, I'll get to the moment where I came as close to death as I have ever come. About two hours into fighting the fire, I was in command of the crews operating on the 2nd floor of the house when the building collapsed around us. I was hit by a roof beam and knocked down the stairs, dislocating my shoulder and breaking my nose. This is where I must stop and proclaim the mercy of the living God. Had that beam hit me just a few inches to the right, I would not be here today. I am convinced in that moment God spared me, and my colleagues. Mercifully, I was the only one injured out of about 6 of us present when the collapse happened.
During my recovery, I attempted suicide three separate times, and became heavily addicted to marijuana and amphetamines. I have since been healed of these things, and I am happy to go into more detail about any specifics of my life with you at another time. I am only briefly touching on them here so that you can have an accurate understanding of the thick mire of death that God himself reached down and plucked me out of.
In order to tie all this together, it was during my recovery that God began leading me down the path that would eventually lead me to this story that I am writing to you today. I began to question the position of the church about people like me, since the "official" stance didn't include one critical point. It failed to consider those of us who were already believers. As I began to come out, and lead a double life, my ex and I drifted apart, separated, and divorced. I came out for the second time to my mom, but this time she was determined to see my through this journey, as I was determined to see it through myself, understanding that we are absolutely forgiven of our sins by the blood of the Messiah, and in executing the judgement common to all humanity against himself he wiped away the bill of charges against us, and we were separated from our old nature as far as the east is from the west. To put it frankly, this has been the most abandonment filled journey of my life. That scared me, since abandonment was probably one of my biggest fears, after being abandoned many times in my past. However, I discovered that the further I got from others; the closer God drew me to Him. How could this be, this amazing love, that in my "sin", a holy God, would draw closer to an unholy and dirty human? I know now that I was being prepared by him for my new mission.
While I am no longer a firefighteemt, I have maintained that God's calling on my life is to be a spiritual paramedic on the battlefield of society today, and specifically to others like myself, especially to the ones who have resigned themselves to the sex industry, since that’s the only place that actively validates them( at least on the surface). Finding you, and reading about others like me is, in my opinion, absolute confirmation of 1 Peter 2, where we are taught that never is a prophecy of scripture to be interpreted by an individual on their own, but that people moved by the Holy Spirit do the will of God. I am thankful that God has raised you up as allies.
I want to make it clear that I do not have the “theology” behind being trans all figured out. This is a journey, and it has taken me thirty plus years to arrive at this point. What I do know is that we as trans people are created by God to live a life worthy of His calling. I also know that we are at a deficit when it comes to discussion surrounding us, and right now, the loudest voices in the debate are those who would argue that anything outside of the proscribed gender binary cannot exist, and that we are making an active choice to decide what our gender is. No matter what your views are on the subject, the most important thing that you can do is trust someone who tells you that they don’t feel like they fit into this binary. We struggle with trusting even ourselves, so when we “come out” and we are met with being misgendered, either intentionally or otherwise, it is destructive. We as Christians know that the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy, so we should not do these things. I would encourage you to stand up for your trans siblings, and likewise for the trans community in general. You can trust that God will deliver a word that will settle the debate, just as He is doing for the rest of the community. My prayer is that we will all see the good fruits that come from simply acknowledging the struggles that trans/non-binary people deal with, and knowing that even though you may not have the answer, you have a concrete, solid foundation for how treat your fellow humans in the way Yeshua treated those who were considered unclean by society.
To my trans guys, gals, and non-binary pals, I want to offer you encouragement in your struggles, knowing that others like us throughout the world are struggling with the same fight, and you are not alone. The enemy tends to lie to us to make us feel like we are the only ones who are fighting this battle, and I hope to dismiss that lie. You aren’t alone, we exist, we are valid, and we are loved by God Most High for exactly who he created us to be. My prayer is that you will find alignment between your heart, body, soul, and mind, and that you will be at peace within yourselves.
I love you all with the love that flows from the Messiah,
Kaila
submitted by ADHDin4K to TransChristianity [link] [comments]

Forex Signals Reddit: top providers review (part 1)

Forex Signals Reddit: top providers review (part 1)

Forex Signals - TOP Best Services. Checked!

To invest in the financial markets, we must acquire good tools that help us carry out our operations in the best possible way. In this sense, we always talk about the importance of brokers, however, signal systems must also be taken into account.
The platforms that offer signals to invest in forex provide us with alerts that will help us in a significant way to be able to carry out successful operations.
For this reason, we are going to tell you about the importance of these alerts in relation to the trading we carry out, because, without a doubt, this type of system will provide us with very good information to invest at the right time and in the best assets in the different markets. financial
Within this context, we will focus on Forex signals, since it is the most important market in the world, since in it, multiple transactions are carried out on a daily basis, hence the importance of having an alert system that offers us all the necessary data to invest in currencies.
Also, as we all already know, cryptocurrencies have become a very popular alternative to investing in traditional currencies. Therefore, some trading services/tools have emerged that help us to carry out successful operations in this particular market.
In the following points, we will detail everything you need to know to start operating in the financial markets using trading signals: what are signals, how do they work, because they are a very powerful help, etc. Let's go there!

What are Forex Trading Signals?

https://preview.redd.it/vjdnt1qrpny51.jpg?width=640&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=bc541fc996701e5b4dd940abed610b59456a5625
Before explaining the importance of Forex signals, let's start by making a small note so that we know what exactly these alerts are.
Thus, we will know that the signals on the currency market are received by traders to know all the information that concerns Forex, both for assets and for the market itself.
These alerts allow us to know the movements that occur in the Forex market and the changes that occur in the different currency pairs. But the great advantage that this type of system gives us is that they provide us with the necessary information, to know when is the right time to carry out our investments.
In other words, through these signals, we will know the opportunities that are presented in the market and we will be able to carry out operations that can become quite profitable.
Profitability is precisely another of the fundamental aspects that must be taken into account when we talk about Forex signals since the vast majority of these alerts offer fairly reliable data on assets. Similarly, these signals can also provide us with recommendations or advice to make our operations more successful.

»Purpose: predict movements to carry out Profitable Operations

In short, Forex signal systems aim to predict the behavior that the different assets that are in the market will present and this is achieved thanks to new technologies, the creation of specialized software, and of course, the work of financial experts.
In addition, it must also be borne in mind that the reliability of these alerts largely lies in the fact that they are prepared by financial professionals. So they turn out to be a perfect tool so that our investments can bring us a greater number of benefits.

The best signal services today

We are going to tell you about the 3 main alert system services that we currently have on the market. There are many more, but I can assure these are not scams and are reliable. Of course, not 100% of trades will be a winner, so please make sure you apply proper money management and risk management system.

1. 1000pipbuilder (top choice)

Fast track your success and follow the high-performance Forex signals from 1000pip Builder. These Forex signals are rated 5 stars on Investing.com, so you can follow every signal with confidence. All signals are sent by a professional trader with over 10 years investment experience. This is a unique opportunity to see with your own eyes how a professional Forex trader trades the markets.
The 1000pip Builder Membership is ordinarily a signal service for Forex trading. You will get all the facts you need to successfully comply with the trading signals, set your stop loss and take earnings as well as additional techniques and techniques!
You will get easy to use trading indicators for Forex Trades, including your entry, stop loss and take profit. Overall, the earnings target per months is 350 Pips, depending on your funding this can be a high profit per month! (In fact, there is by no means a guarantee, but the past months had been all between 600 – 1000 Pips).
>>>Know more about 1000pipbuilder
Your 1000pip builder membership gives you all in hand you want to start trading Forex with success. Read the directions and wait for the first signals. You can trade them inside your demo account first, so you can take a look at the performance before you make investments real money!
Features:
  • Free Trial
  • Forex signals sent by email and SMS
  • Entry price, take profit and stop loss provided
  • Suitable for all time zones (signals sent over 24 hours)
  • MyFXBook verified performance
  • 10 years of investment experience
  • Target 300-400 pips per month
Pricing:
https://preview.redd.it/zjc10xx6ony51.png?width=668&format=png&auto=webp&s=9b0eac95f8b584dc0cdb62503e851d7036c0232b
VISIT 1000ipbuilder here

2. DDMarkets

Digital Derivatives Markets (DDMarkets) have been providing trade alert offerings since May 2014 - fully documenting their change ideas in an open and transparent manner.
September 2020 performance report for DD Markets.
Their manner is simple: carry out extensive research, share their evaluation and then deliver a trading sign when triggered. Once issued, daily updates on the trade are despatched to members via email.
It's essential to note that DDMarkets do not tolerate floating in an open drawdown in an effort to earnings at any cost - a common method used by less professional providers to 'fudge' performance statistics.
Verified Statistics: Not independently verified.
Price: plans from $74.40 per month.
Year Founded: 2014
Suitable for Beginners: Yes, (includes handy to follow trade analysis)
VISIT
-------

3. JKonFX

If you are looking or a forex signal service with a reliable (and profitable) music record you can't go previous Joel Kruger and the team at JKonFX.
Trading performance file for JKonFX.
Joel has delivered a reputable +59.18% journal performance for 2016, imparting real-time technical and fundamental insights, in an extremely obvious manner, to their 30,000+ subscriber base. Considered a low-frequency trader, alerts are only a small phase of the overall JKonFX subscription. If you're searching for hundreds of signals, you may want to consider other options.
Verified Statistics: Not independently verified.
Price: plans from $30 per month.
Year Founded: 2014
Suitable for Beginners: Yes, (includes convenient to follow videos updates).
VISIT

The importance of signals to invest in Forex

Once we have known what Forex signals are, we must comment on the importance of these alerts in relation to our operations.
As we have already told you in the previous paragraph, having a system of signals to be able to invest is quite advantageous, since, through these alerts, we will obtain quality information so that our operations end up being a true success.

»Use of signals for beginners and experts

In this sense, we have to say that one of the main advantages of Forex signals is that they can be used by both beginners and trading professionals.
As many as others can benefit from using a trading signal system because the more information and resources we have in our hands. The greater probability of success we will have. Let's see how beginners and experts can take advantage of alerts:
  • Beginners: for inexperienced these alerts become even more important since they will thus have an additional tool that will guide them to carry out all operations in the Forex market.
  • Professionals: In the same way, professionals are also recommended to make use of these alerts, so they have adequate information to continue bringing their investments to fruition.
Now that we know that both beginners and experts can use forex signals to invest, let's see what other advantages they have.

»Trading automation

When we dedicate ourselves to working in the financial world, none of us can spend 24 hours in front of the computer waiting to perform the perfect operation, it is impossible.
That is why Forex signals are important, because, in order to carry out our investments, all we will have to do is wait for those signals to arrive, be attentive to all the alerts we receive, and thus, operate at the right time according to the opportunities that have arisen.
It is fantastic to have a tool like this one that makes our work easier in this regard.

»Carry out profitable Forex operations

These signals are also important, because the vast majority of them are usually quite profitable, for this reason, we must get an alert system that provides us with accurate information so that our operations can bring us great benefits.
But in addition, these Forex signals have an added value and that is that they are very easy to understand, therefore, we will have a very useful tool at hand that will not be complicated and will end up being a very beneficial weapon for us.

»Decision support analysis

A system of currency market signals is also very important because it will help us to make our subsequent decisions.
We cannot forget that, to carry out any type of operation in this market, previously, we must meditate well and know the exact moment when we will know that our investments are going to bring us profits .
Therefore, all the information provided by these alerts will be a fantastic basis for future operations that we are going to carry out.

»Trading Signals made by professionals

Finally, we have to recall the idea that these signals are made by the best professionals. Financial experts who know perfectly how to analyze the movements that occur in the market and changes in prices.
Hence the importance of alerts, since they are very reliable and are presented as a necessary tool to operate in Forex and that our operations are as profitable as possible.

What should a signal provider be like?

https://preview.redd.it/j0ne51jypny51.png?width=640&format=png&auto=webp&s=5578ff4c42bd63d5b6950fc6401a5be94b97aa7f
As you have seen, Forex signal systems are really important for our operations to bring us many benefits. For this reason, at present, there are multiple platforms that offer us these financial services so that investing in currencies is very simple and fast.
Before telling you about the main services that we currently have available in the market, it is recommended that you know what are the main characteristics that a good signal provider should have, so that, at the time of your choice, you are clear that you have selected one of the best systems.

»Must send us information on the main currency pairs

In this sense, one of the first things we have to comment on is that a good signal provider, at a minimum, must send us alerts that offer us information about the 6 main currencies, in this case, we refer to the euro, dollar, The pound, the yen, the Swiss franc, and the Canadian dollar.
Of course, the data you provide us will be related to the pairs that make up all these currencies. Although we can also find systems that offer us information about other minorities, but as we have said, at a minimum, we must know these 6.

»Trading tools to operate better

Likewise, signal providers must also provide us with a large number of tools so that we can learn more about the Forex market.
We refer, for example, to technical analysis above all, which will help us to develop our own strategies to be able to operate in this market.
These analyzes are always prepared by professionals and study, mainly, the assets that we have available to invest.

»Different Forex signals reception channels

They must also make available to us different ways through which they will send us the Forex signals, the usual thing is that we can acquire them through the platform's website, or by a text message and even through our email.
In addition, it is recommended that the signal system we choose sends us a large number of alerts throughout the day, in order to have a wide range of possibilities.

»Free account and customer service

Other aspects that we must take into account to choose a good signal provider is whether we have the option of receiving, for a limited time, alerts for free or the profitability of the signals they emit to us.
Similarly, a final aspect that we must emphasize is that a good signal system must also have excellent customer service, which is available to us 24 hours a day and that we can contact them at through an email, a phone number, or a live chat, for greater immediacy.
Well, having said all this, in our last section we are going to tell you which are the best services currently on the market. That is, the most suitable Forex signal platforms to be able to work with them and carry out good operations. In this case, we will talk about ForexPro Signals, 365 Signals and Binary Signals.

Forex Signals Reddit: conclusion

To be able to invest properly in the Forex market, it is convenient that we get a signal system that provides us with all the necessary information about this market. It must be remembered that Forex is a very volatile market and therefore, many movements tend to occur quickly.
Asset prices can change in a matter of seconds, hence the importance of having a system that helps us analyze the market and thus know, what is the right time for us to start operating.
Therefore, although there are currently many signal systems that can offer us good services, the three that we have mentioned above are the ones that are best valued by users, which is why they are the best signal providers that we can choose to carry out. our investments.
Most of these alerts are quite profitable and in addition, these systems usually emit a large number of signals per day with full guarantees. For all this, SignalsForexPro, Signals365, or SignalsBinary are presented as fundamental tools so that we can obtain a greater number of benefits when we carry out our operations in the currency market.
submitted by kayakero to makemoneyforexreddit [link] [comments]

AJ ALMENDINGER

glimpse into the future of Roblox

Our vision to bring the world together through play has never been more relevant than it is now. As our founder and CEO, David Baszucki (a.k.a. Builderman), mentioned in his keynote, more and more people are using Roblox to stay connected with their friends and loved ones. He hinted at a future where, with our automatic machine translation technology, Roblox will one day act as a universal translator, enabling people from different cultures and backgrounds to connect and learn from each other.
During his keynote, Builderman also elaborated upon our vision to build the Metaverse; the future of avatar creation on the platform (infinitely customizable avatars that allow any body, any clothing, and any animation to come together seamlessly); more personalized game discovery; and simulating large social gatherings (like concerts, graduations, conferences, etc.) with tens of thousands of participants all in one server. We’re still very early on in this journey, but if these past five months have shown us anything, it’s clear that there is a growing need for human co-experience platforms like Roblox that allow people to play, create, learn, work, and share experiences together in a safe, civil 3D immersive space.
Up next, our VP of Developer Relations, Matt Curtis (a.k.a. m4rrh3w), shared an update on all the things we’re doing to continue empowering developers to create innovative and exciting content through collaboration, support, and expertise. He also highlighted some of the impressive milestones our creator community has achieved since last year’s RDC. Here are a few key takeaways:
And lastly, our VP of Engineering, Technology, Adam Miller (a.k.a. rbadam), unveiled a myriad of cool and upcoming features developers will someday be able to sink their teeth into. We saw a glimpse of procedural skies, skinned meshes, more high-quality materials, new terrain types, more fonts in Studio, a new asset type for in-game videos, haptic feedback on mobile, real-time CSG operations, and many more awesome tools that will unlock the potential for even bigger, more immersive experiences on Roblox.

Vibin’

Despite the virtual setting, RDC just wouldn’t have been the same without any fun party activities and networking opportunities. So, we invited special guests DJ Hyper Potions and cyber mentalist Colin Cloud for some truly awesome, truly mind-bending entertainment. Yoga instructor Erin Gilmore also swung by to inspire attendees to get out of their chair and get their body moving. And of course, we even had virtual rooms dedicated to karaoke and head-to-head social games, like trivia and Pictionary.
Over on the networking side, Team Adopt Me, Red Manta, StyLiS Studios, and Summit Studios hosted a virtual booth for attendees to ask questions, submit resumes, and more. We also had a networking session where three participants would be randomly grouped together to get to know each other.

What does Roblox mean to you?

We all know how talented the Roblox community is from your creations. We’ve heard plenty of stories over the years about how Roblox has touched your lives, how you’ve made friendships, learned new skills, or simply found a place where you can be yourself. We wanted to hear more. So, we asked attendees: What does Roblox mean to you? How has Roblox connected you? How has Roblox changed your life? Then, over the course of RDC, we incorporated your responses into this awesome mural.
📷
Created by Alece Birnbach at Graphic Recording Studio

Knowledge is power

This year’s breakout sessions included presentations from Roblox developers and staff members on the latest game development strategies, a deep dive into the Roblox engine, learning how to animate with Blender, tools for working together in teams, building performant game worlds, and the new Creator Dashboard. Dr. Michael Rich, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and Physician at Boston Children’s Hospital, also led attendees through a discussion on mental health and how to best take care of you and your friends’ emotional well-being, especially now during these challenging times.
📷
Making the Dream Work with Teamwork (presented by Roblox developer Myzta)
In addition to our traditional Q&A panel with top product and engineering leaders at Roblox, we also held a special session with Builderman himself to answer the community’s biggest questions.
📷
Roblox Product and Engineering Q&A Panel

2020 Game Jam

The Game Jam is always one of our favorite events of RDC. It’s a chance for folks to come together, flex their development skills, and come up with wildly inventive game ideas that really push the boundaries of what’s possible on Roblox. We had over 60 submissions this year—a new RDC record.
Once again, teams of up to six people from around the world had less than 24 hours to conceptualize, design, and publish a game based on the theme “2020 Vision,” all while working remotely no less! To achieve such a feat is nothing short of awe-inspiring, but as always, our dev community was more than up for the challenge. I’ve got to say, these were some of the finest creations we’ve seen.
WINNERS
Best in Show: Shapescape Created By: GhettoMilkMan, dayzeedog, maplestick, theloudscream, Brick_man, ilyannna You awaken in a strange laboratory, seemingly with no way out. Using a pair of special glasses, players must solve a series of anamorphic puzzles and optical illusions to make their escape.
Excellence in Visual Art: agn●sia Created By: boatbomber, thisfall, Elttob An obby experience unlike any other, this game is all about seeing the world through a different lens. Reveal platforms by switching between different colored lenses and make your way to the end.
Most Creative Gameplay: Visions of a perspective reality Created By: Noble_Draconian and Spathi Sometimes all it takes is a change in perspective to solve challenges. By switching between 2D and 3D perspectives, players can maneuver around obstacles or find new ways to reach the end of each level.
Outstanding Use of Tech: The Eyes of Providence Created By: Quenty, Arch_Mage, AlgyLacey, xJennyBeanx, Zomebody, Crykee This action/strategy game comes with a unique VR twist. While teams fight to construct the superior monument, two VR players can support their minions by collecting resources and manipulating the map.
Best Use of Theme: Sticker Situation Created By: dragonfrosting and Yozoh Set in a mysterious art gallery, players must solve puzzles by manipulating the environment using a magic camera and stickers. Snap a photograph, place down a sticker, and see how it changes the world.
OTHER TOP PICKS
HONORABLE MENTIONS
For the rest of the 2020 Game Jam submissions, check out the list below:
20-20 Vision | 20/20 Vision | 2020 Vision, A Crazy Perspective | 2020 Vision: Nyon | A Wild Trip! | Acuity | Best Year Ever | Better Half | Bloxlabs | Climb Stairs to 2021 | Double Vision (Team hey apple) | Eyebrawl | Eyeworm Exam | FIRE 2020 | HACKED | Hyperspective | Lucid Scream | Mystery Mansion | New Years at the Museum | New Year’s Bash | Poor Vision | Predict 2020 | RBC News | Retrovertigo | Second Wave | see no evil | Sight Fight | Sight Stealers | Spectacles Struggle | Specter Spectrum | Survive 2020 | The Lost Chicken Leg | The Outbreak | The Spyglass | Time Heist | Tunnel Vision | Virtual RDC – The Story | Vision (Team Freepunk) | Vision (Team VIP People ####) | Vision Developers Conference 2020 | Vision Is Key | Vision Perspective | Vision Racer | Visions | Zepto
And last but not least, we wanted to give a special shout out to Starboard Studios. Though they didn’t quite make it on time for our judges, we just had to include Dave’s Vision for good measure. 📷
Thanks to everyone who participated in the Game Jam, and congrats to all those who took home the dub in each of our categories this year. As the winners of Best in Show, the developers of Shapescape will have their names forever engraved on the RDC Game Jam trophy back at Roblox HQ. Great work!

‘Til next year

And that about wraps up our coverage of the first-ever digital RDC. Thanks to all who attended! Before we go, we wanted to share a special “behind the scenes” video from the 2020 RDC photoshoot.
Check it out:
It was absolutely bonkers. Getting 350 of us all in one server was so much fun and really brought back the feeling of being together with everyone again. That being said, we can’t wait to see you all—for real this time—at RDC next year. It’s going to be well worth the wait. ‘Til we meet again, my friends.
© 2020 Roblox Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Improving Simulation and Performance with an Advanced Physics Solver

August

05, 2020

by chefdeletat
PRODUCT & TECH
📷In mid-2015, Roblox unveiled a major upgrade to its physics engine: the Projected Gauss-Seidel (PGS) physics solver. For the first year, the new solver was optional and provided improved fidelity and greater performance compared to the previously used spring solver.
In 2016, we added support for a diverse set of new physics constraints, incentivizing developers to migrate to the new solver and extending the creative capabilities of the physics engine. Any new places used the PGS solver by default, with the option of reverting back to the classic solver.
We ironed out some stability issues associated with high mass differences and complex mechanisms by the introduction of the hybrid LDL-PGS solver in mid-2018. This made the old solver obsolete, and it was completely disabled in 2019, automatically migrating all places to the PGS.
In 2019, the performance was further improved using multi-threading that splits the simulation into jobs consisting of connected islands of simulating parts. We still had performance issues related to the LDL that we finally resolved in early 2020.
The physics engine is still being improved and optimized for performance, and we plan on adding new features for the foreseeable future.

Implementing the Laws of Physics

📷
The main objective of a physics engine is to simulate the motion of bodies in a virtual environment. In our physics engine, we care about bodies that are rigid, that collide and have constraints with each other.
A physics engine is organized into two phases: collision detection and solving. Collision detection finds intersections between geometries associated with the rigid bodies, generating appropriate collision information such as collision points, normals and penetration depths. Then a solver updates the motion of rigid bodies under the influence of the collisions that were detected and constraints that were provided by the user.
📷
The motion is the result of the solver interpreting the laws of physics, such as conservation of energy and momentum. But doing this 100% accurately is prohibitively expensive, and the trick to simulating it in real-time is to approximate to increase performance, as long as the result is physically realistic. As long as the basic laws of motion are maintained within a reasonable tolerance, this tradeoff is completely acceptable for a computer game simulation.

Taking Small Steps

The main idea of the physics engine is to discretize the motion using time-stepping. The equations of motion of constrained and unconstrained rigid bodies are very difficult to integrate directly and accurately. The discretization subdivides the motion into small time increments, where the equations are simplified and linearized making it possible to solve them approximately. This means that during each time step the motion of the relevant parts of rigid bodies that are involved in a constraint is linearly approximated.
📷📷
Although a linearized problem is easier to solve, it produces drift in a simulation containing non-linear behaviors, like rotational motion. Later we’ll see mitigation methods that help reduce the drift and make the simulation more plausible.

Solving

📷
Having linearized the equations of motion for a time step, we end up needing to solve a linear system or linear complementarity problem (LCP). These systems can be arbitrarily large and can still be quite expensive to solve exactly. Again the trick is to find an approximate solution using a faster method. A modern method to approximately solve an LCP with good convergence properties is the Projected Gauss-Seidel (PGS). It is an iterative method, meaning that with each iteration the approximate solution is brought closer to the true solution, and its final accuracy depends on the number of iterations.
📷
This animation shows how a PGS solver changes the positions of the bodies at each step of the iteration process, the objective being to find the positions that respect the ball and socket constraints while preserving the center of mass at each step (this is a type of positional solver used by the IK dragger). Although this example has a simple analytical solution, it’s a good demonstration of the idea behind the PGS. At each step, the solver fixes one of the constraints and lets the other be violated. After a few iterations, the bodies are very close to their correct positions. A characteristic of this method is how some rigid bodies seem to vibrate around their final position, especially when coupling interactions with heavier bodies. If we don’t do enough iterations, the yellow part might be left in a visibly invalid state where one of its two constraints is dramatically violated. This is called the high mass ratio problem, and it has been the bane of physics engines as it causes instabilities and explosions. If we do too many iterations, the solver becomes too slow, if we don’t it becomes unstable. Balancing the two sides has been a painful and long process.

Mitigation Strategies

📷A solver has two major sources of inaccuracies: time-stepping and iterative solving (there is also floating point drift but it’s minor compared to the first two). These inaccuracies introduce errors in the simulation causing it to drift from the correct path. Some of this drift is tolerable like slightly different velocities or energy loss, but some are not like instabilities, large energy gains or dislocated constraints.
Therefore a lot of the complexity in the solver comes from the implementation of methods to minimize the impact of computational inaccuracies. Our final implementation uses some traditional and some novel mitigation strategies:
  1. Warm starting: starting with the solution from a previous time-step to increase the convergence rate of the iterative solver
  2. Post-stabilization: reprojecting the system back to the constraint manifold to prevent constraint drift
  3. Regularization: adding compliance to the constraints ensuring a solution exists and is unique
  4. Pre-conditioning: using an exact solution to a linear subsystem, improving the stability of complex mechanisms
Strategies 1, 2 and 3 are pretty traditional, but 3 has been improved and perfected by us. Also, although 4 is not unheard of, we haven’t seen any practical implementation of it. We use an original factorization method for large sparse constraint matrices and a new efficient way of combining it with the PGS. The resulting implementation is only slightly slower compared to pure PGS but ensures that the linear system coming from equality constraints is solved exactly. Consequently, the equality constraints suffer only from drift coming from the time discretization. Details on our methods are contained in my GDC 2020 presentation. Currently, we are investigating direct methods applied to inequality constraints and collisions.

Getting More Details

Traditionally there are two mathematical models for articulated mechanisms: there are reduced coordinate methods spearheaded by Featherstone, that parametrize the degrees of freedom at each joint, and there are full coordinate methods that use a Lagrangian formulation.
We use the second formulation as it is less restrictive and requires much simpler mathematics and implementation.
The Roblox engine uses analytical methods to compute the dynamic response of constraints, as opposed to penalty methods that were used before. Analytics methods were initially introduced in Baraff 1989, where they are used to treat both equality and non-equality constraints in a consistent manner. Baraff observed that the contact model can be formulated using quadratic programming, and he provided a heuristic solution method (which is not the method we use in our solver).
Instead of using force-based formulation, we use an impulse-based formulation in velocity space, originally introduced by Mirtich-Canny 1995 and further improved by Stewart-Trinkle 1996, which unifies the treatment of different contact types and guarantees the existence of a solution for contacts with friction. At each timestep, the constraints and collisions are maintained by applying instantaneous changes in velocities due to constraint impulses. An excellent explanation of why impulse-based simulation is superior is contained in the GDC presentation of Catto 2014.
The frictionless contacts are modeled using a linear complementarity problem (LCP) as described in Baraff 1994. Friction is added as a non-linear projection onto the friction cone, interleaved with the iterations of the Projected Gauss-Seidel.
The numerical drift that introduces positional errors in the constraints is resolved using a post-stabilization technique using pseudo-velocities introduced by Cline-Pai 2003. It involves solving a second LCP in the position space, which projects the system back to the constraint manifold.
The LCPs are solved using a PGS / Impulse Solver popularized by Catto 2005 (also see Catto 2009). This method is iterative and considers each individual constraints in sequence and resolves it independently. Over many iterations, and in ideal conditions, the system converges to a global solution.
Additionally, high mass ratio issues in equality constraints are ironed out by preconditioning the PGS using the sparse LDL decomposition of the constraint matrix of equality constraints. Dense submatrices of the constraint matrix are sparsified using a method we call Body Splitting. This is similar to the LDL decomposition used in Baraff 1996, but allows more general mechanical systems, and solves the system in constraint space. For more information, you can see my GDC 2020 presentation.
The architecture of our solver follows the idea of Guendelman-Bridson-Fedkiw, where the velocity and position stepping are separated by the constraint resolution. Our time sequencing is:
  1. Advance velocities
  2. Constraint resolution in velocity space and position space
  3. Advance positions
This scheme has the advantage of integrating only valid velocities, and limiting latency in external force application but allowing a small amount of perceived constraint violation due to numerical drift.
An excellent reference for rigid body simulation is the book Erleben 2005 that was recently made freely available. You can find online lectures about physics-based animation, a blog by Nilson Souto on building a physics engine, a very good GDC presentation by Erin Catto on modern solver methods, and forums like the Bullet Physics Forum and GameDev which are excellent places to ask questions.

In Conclusion

The field of game physics simulation presents many interesting problems that are both exciting and challenging. There are opportunities to learn a substantial amount of cool mathematics and physics and to use modern optimizations techniques. It’s an area of game development that tightly marries mathematics, physics and software engineering.
Even if Roblox has a good rigid body physics engine, there are areas where it can be improved and optimized. Also, we are working on exciting new projects like fracturing, deformation, softbody, cloth, aerodynamics and water simulation.
Neither Roblox Corporation nor this blog endorses or supports any company or service. Also, no guarantees or promises are made regarding the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information contained in this blog.
This blog post was originally published on the Roblox Tech Blog.
© 2020 Roblox Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Using Clang to Minimize Global Variable Use

July

23, 2020

by RandomTruffle
PRODUCT & TECH
Every non-trivial program has at least some amount of global state, but too much can be a bad thing. In C++ (which constitutes close to 100% of Roblox’s engine code) this global state is initialized before main() and destroyed after returning from main(), and this happens in a mostly non-deterministic order. In addition to leading to confusing startup and shutdown semantics that are difficult to reason about (or change), it can also lead to severe instability.
Roblox code also creates a lot of long-running detached threads (threads which are never joined and just run until they decide to stop, which might be never). These two things together have a very serious negative interaction on shutdown, because long-running threads continue accessing the global state that is being destroyed. This can lead to elevated crash rates, test suite flakiness, and just general instability.
The first step to digging yourself out of a mess like this is to understand the extent of the problem, so in this post I’m going to talk about one technique you can use to gain visibility into your global startup flow. I’m also going to discuss how we are using this to improve stability across the entire Roblox game engine platform by decreasing our use of global variables.

Introducing -finstrument-functions

Nothing excites me more than learning about a new obscure compiler option that I’ve never had a use for before, so I was pretty happy when a colleague pointed me to this option in the Clang Command Line Reference. I’d never used it before, but it sounded very cool. The idea being that if we could get the compiler to tell us every time it entered and exited a function, we could filter this information through a symbolizer of some kind and generate a report of functions that a) occur before main(), and b) are the very first function in the call-stack (indicating it’s a global).
Unfortunately, the documentation basically just tells you that the option exists with no mention of how to use it or if it even actually does what it sounds like it does. There’s also two different options that sound similar to each other (-finstrument-functions and -finstrument-functions-after-inlining), and I still wasn’t entirely sure what the difference was. So I decided to throw up a quick sample on godbolt to see what happened, which you can see here. Note there are two assembly outputs for the same source listing. One uses the first option and the other uses the second option, and we can compare the assembly output to understand the differences. We can gather a few takeaways from this sample:
  1. The compiler is injecting calls to __cyg_profile_func_enter and __cyg_profile_func_exit inside of every function, inline or not.
  2. The only difference between the two options occurs at the call-site of an inline function.
  3. With -finstrument-functions, the instrumentation for the inlined function is inserted at the call-site, whereas with -finstrument-functions-after-inlining we only have instrumentation for the outer function. This means that when using-finstrument-functions-after-inlining you won’t be able to determine which functions are inlined and where.
Of course, this sounds exactly like what the documentation said it did, but sometimes you just need to look under the hood to convince yourself.
To put all of this another way, if we want to know about calls to inline functions in this trace we need to use -finstrument-functions because otherwise their instrumentation is silently removed by the compiler. Sadly, I was never able to get -finstrument-functions to work on a real example. I would always end up with linker errors deep in the Standard C++ Library which I was unable to figure out. My best guess is that inlining is often a heuristic, and this can somehow lead to subtle ODR (one-definition rule) violations when the optimizer makes different inlining decisions from different translation units. Luckily global constructors (which is what we care about) cannot possibly be inlined anyway, so this wasn’t a problem.
I suppose I should also mention that I still got tons of linker errors with -finstrument-functions-after-inlining as well, but I did figure those out. As best as I can tell, this option seems to imply –whole-archive linker semantics. Discussion of –whole-archive is outside the scope of this blog post, but suffice it to say that I fixed it by using linker groups (e.g. -Wl,–start-group and -Wl,–end-group) on the compiler command line. I was a bit surprised that we didn’t get these same linker errors without this option and still don’t totally understand why. If you happen to know why this option would change linker semantics, please let me know in the comments!

Implementing the Callback Hooks

If you’re astute, you may be wondering what in the world __cyg_profile_func_enter and __cyg_profile_func_exit are and why the program is even successfully linking in the first without giving undefined symbol reference errors, since the compiler is apparently trying to call some function we’ve never defined. Luckily, there are some options that allow us to see inside the linker’s algorithm so we can find out where it’s getting this symbol from to begin with. Specifically, -y should tell us how the linker is resolving . We’ll try it with a dummy program first and a symbol that we’ve defined ourselves, then we’ll try it with __cyg_profile_func_enter .
[email protected]:~/src/sandbox$ cat instr.cpp int main() {} [email protected]:~/src/sandbox$ clang++-9 -fuse-ld=lld -Wl,-y -Wl,main instr.cpp /usbin/../lib/gcc/x86_64-linux-gnu/crt1.o: reference to main /tmp/instr-5b6c60.o: definition of main
No surprises here. The C Runtime Library references main(), and our object file defines it. Now let’s see what happens with __cyg_profile_func_enter and -finstrument-functions-after-inlining.
[email protected]:~/src/sandbox$ clang++-9 -fuse-ld=lld -finstrument-functions-after-inlining -Wl,-y -Wl,__cyg_profile_func_enter instr.cpp /tmp/instr-8157b3.o: reference to __cyg_profile_func_enter /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libc.so.6: shared definition of __cyg_profile_func_enter
Now, we see that libc provides the definition, and our object file references it. Linking works a bit differently on Unix-y platforms than it does on Windows, but basically this means that if we define this function ourselves in our cpp file, the linker will just automatically prefer it over the shared library version. Working godbolt link without runtime output is here. So now you can kind of see where this is going, however there are still a couple of problems left to solve.
  1. We don’t want to do this for a full run of the program. We want to stop as soon as we reach main.
  2. We need a way to symbolize this trace.
The first problem is easy to solve. All we need to do is compare the address of the function being called to the address of main, and set a flag indicating we should stop tracing henceforth. (Note that taking the address of main is undefined behavior[1], but for our purposes it gets the job done, and we aren’t shipping this code, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯). The second problem probably deserves a little more discussion though.

Symbolizing the Traces

In order to symbolize these traces, we need two things. First, we need to store the trace somewhere on persistent storage. We can’t expect to symbolize in real time with any kind of reasonable performance. You can write some C code to save the trace to some magic filename, or you can do what I did and just write it to stderr (this way you can pipe stderr to some file when you run it).
Second, and perhaps more importantly, for every address we need to write out the full path to the module the address belongs to. Your program loads many shared libraries, and in order to translate an address into a symbol, we have to know which shared library or executable the address actually belongs to. In addition, we have to be careful to write out the address of the symbol in the file on disk. When your program is running, the operating system could have loaded it anywhere in memory. And if we’re going to symbolize it after the fact we need to make sure we can still reference it after the information about where it was loaded in memory is lost. The linux function dladdr() gives us both pieces of information we need. A working godbolt sample with the exact implementation of our instrumentation hooks as they appear in our codebase can be found here.

Putting it All Together

Now that we have a file in this format saved on disk, all we need to do is symbolize the addresses. addr2line is one option, but I went with llvm-symbolizer as I find it more robust. I wrote a Python script to parse the file and symbolize each address, then print it in the same “visual” hierarchical format that the original output file is in. There are various options for filtering the resulting symbol list so that you can clean up the output to include only things that are interesting for your case. For example, I filtered out any globals that have boost:: in their name, because I can’t exactly go rewrite boost to not use global variables.
The script isn’t as simple as you would think, because simply crawling each line and symbolizing it would be unacceptably slow (when I tried this, it took over 2 hours before I finally killed the process). This is because the same address might appear thousands of times, and there’s no reason to run llvm-symbolizer against the same address multiple times. So there’s a lot of smarts in there to pre-process the address list and eliminate duplicates. I won’t discuss the implementation in more detail because it isn’t super interesting. But I’ll do even better and provide the source!
So after all of this, we can run any one of our internal targets to get the call tree, run it through the script, and then get output like this (actual output from a Roblox process, source file information removed):
excluded_symbols = [‘.\boost.*’]* excluded_modules = [‘/usr.\’]* /uslib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libLLVM-9.so.1: 140 unique addresses InterestingRobloxProcess: 38928 unique addresses /uslib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libstdc++.so.6: 1 unique addresses /uslib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libc++.so.1: 3 unique addresses Printing call tree with depth 2 for 29276 global variables. __cxx_global_var_init.5 (InterestingFile1.cpp:418:22) RBX::InterestingRobloxClass2::InterestingRobloxClass2() (InterestingFile2.cpp.:415:0) __cxx_global_var_init.19 (InterestingFile2.cpp:183:34) (anonymous namespace)::InterestingRobloxClass2::InterestingRobloxClass2() (InterestingFile2.cpp:171:0) __cxx_global_var_init.274 (InterestingFile3.cpp:2364:33) RBX::InterestingRobloxClass3::InterestingRobloxClass3()
So there you have it: the first half of the battle is over. I can run this script on every platform, compare results to understand what order our globals are actually initialized in in practice, then slowly migrate this code out of global initializers and into main where it can be deterministic and explicit.

Future Work

It occurred to me sometime after implementing this that we could make a general purpose profiling hook that exposed some public symbols (dllexport’ed if you speak Windows), and allowed a plugin module to hook into this dynamically. This plugin module could filter addresses using whatever arbitrary logic that it was interested in. One interesting use case I came up for this is that it could look up the debug information, check if the current address maps to the constructor of a function local static, and write out the address if so. This effectively allows us to gain a deeper understanding of the order in which our lazy statics are initialized. The possibilities are endless here.

Further Reading

If you’re interested in this kind of thing, I’ve collected a couple of my favorite references for this kind of topic.
  1. Various: The C++ Language Standard
  2. Matt Godbolt: The Bits Between the Bits: How We Get to main()
  3. Ryan O’Neill: Learning Linux Binary Analysis
  4. Linkers and Loaders: John R. Levine
  5. https://eel.is/c++draft/basic.exec#basic.start.main-3
Neither Roblox Corporation nor this blog endorses or supports any company or service. Also, no guarantees or promises are made regarding the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information contained in this blog.
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Under-represented and overlooked: Māori and Pasifika scientists in Aotearoa New Zealand’s universities and crown-research institutes

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03036758.2020.1796103

"Under-represented and overlooked: Māori and Pasifika scientists in Aotearoa New Zealand’s universities and crown-research institutes

Tara G. McAllister ,Sereana Naepi📷,Elizabeth Wilson📷,Daniel Hikuroa📷 &Leilani A. Walker

ABSTRACT

This article provides insights into the ethnicity of people employed in Aotearoa New Zealand’s publicly-funded scientific workforce, with a particular focus on Māori and Pasifika scientists. We show that between 2008 and 2018, Māori and Pasifika scientists were severely under-represented in Aotearoa New Zealand’s universities and crown-research institutes. Despite espousals by these institutions of valuing diversity, te Tiriti o Waitangi and Māori research, there have been very little changes in the overall percentage of Māori and Pasifika scientists employed for a period of at least 11 years. Notably, one university reported having not employed a single Māori or Pasifika academic in their science department from 2008 to 2018. We highlight the urgent need for institutions to improve how they collect and disseminate data that speaks to the diversity of their employees. We present data that illustrate that universities and crown-research institutes are failing to build a sustainable Māori and Pasifika scientific workforce and that these institutions need to begin to recruit, retain and promote Māori and Pasifika scientists.

Introduction

In 2018, Dr Megan Woods (Minister of Research, Science and Innovation) launched the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) diversity in science statement, which states that ‘Diversity is vital for our science system to realise its full potential’ (MBIE 2018). Whilst this statement is a step towards raising awareness of the importance of diversity in science it needs to be followed by institutional changes, targeted programmes and directed responses from institutions. A vital component of achieving the aspirations espoused in this statement includes open reporting on diversity of ‘applicants, award holders, and advisory, assessment and decision making bodies’ (MBIE 2018). In two recent papers, McAllister et al. (2019) and Naepi (2019) spoke to the lack of diversity in Aotearoa New Zealand 1 ’s eight universities and provided evidence of the severe under-representation of Māori and Pasifika scholars, who comprise 16.5% and 7.5% respectively of the total population of Aotearoa. The authors showed that Māori and Pasifika comprise 4.8% and 1.7% respectively of academics, despite the espousals by universities of valuing diversity and their obligations to equity as outlined in te Tiriti o Waitangi (McAllister et al. 2019; Naepi 2019). The data used in these two studies, obtained from the Ministry of Education (MoE), provided information on the ethnicity of academic staff university wide and was not disaggregated by faculty. Consequently, data on the number of Māori and Pasifika academics in each faculty or department is currently not openly available. Previous research has shown that very few Māori academics exist outside of Māori departments and it remains difficult to access quantitative data on their lived experience as universities continue to silence reports (Kidman et al. 2015; UoO date unknown).
To ensure that the aspirations championed within MBIE’s diversity statement can be met, we first need open and accurate reporting on the diversity of people employed within Aotearoa New Zealand’s scientific workforce and there is currently a significant gap of openly available data that investigate this. Some annual reports and equity profiles of crown-research institutes (CRIs) and universities do contain selected ethnicity data (i.e. MWLR 2018; UoA 2018). However, these reports do not always present data in a meaningful and consistent way and are not always publically available. For example, the University of Otago’s annual report does not contain any information on the ethnicity of staff and instead focuses only on gender of staff and the ethnicity of students (UoO 2018). Instead, the ethnicity data for staff is presented in the equity report, which is only available to staff and access must be requested from the Head of Organisational Development (UoO date unknown).
A survey of Aotearoa New Zealand’s scientists and technologists in 2008 provides the most recent quantitative indication of the diversity of Aotearoa New Zealand’s scientific workforce, despite being conducted 12 years ago (Sommer 2010). The author indicated that there was very little change in ethnicity of Aotearoa New Zealand’s scientific workforce between the 1996 and 2008 surveys, with ‘European’ scientists making up 82.3% and 80.9% respectively (Sommer 2010). According to the author, there was a ‘modest increase’ in Māori scientists from 0.7% (1996) to 1.7% (2008) and this increase ‘represents a glimmer of success for those who have sought to develop policies to bring more Māori into the science and technology workforce’ (Sommer 2010, p. 10). However, an increase of 1% over a period of 15 years (i.e. an average increase of 0.07% per year) should be viewed as a significant failure. The percentage of Pasifika scientists also increased very slightly from 0.5% in 1996 to 0.6% in 2010 (Sommer 2010). McKinley (2002, p. 109) provided an insight into the extremely low numbers of Māori women employed by CRIs in 1998:
‘Of the 3,839 people employed by seven Crown Research Institutes (CRIs) in New Zealand, 57 women or approximately 1.5% of the total identified as Māori women. At the time these data were collected in 1998 there were no Māori women in management positions, two were categorised as scientists, 15 as science technicians, and 40 as ‘support’ staff that includes cafeteria staff, administration staff and cleaners’
The data presented by both McKinley (2002) and Sommer (2010) highlight the urgent need for institutions and government to move away from ‘business as usual’ and make a serious commitment to firstly collecting data on diversity, openly and transparently presenting it and secondly increasing the hiring, promoting and retention of Māori and Pasifika scientists.
The present paper aims to begin to address the gap in knowledge by collating data and investigating how diverse Aotearoa New Zealand’s scientific workforce is. An intersectional lens must be applied when thinking critically about diversity and equity, however policies, actions and research often privilege gender (i.e. Bhopal and Henderson 2019; Brower and James 2020) over ethnicity whilst ignoring other intersectional identities that go beyond white, cis women. Here, we focus on the intersectional identities of Māori and Pasifika scientists, while acknowledging that people who have other intersectional identities including those with disabilities, LGBTQIA, non-binary and women of colour are likely to be disproportionately affected and disadvantaged within Aotearoa New Zealand’s science system, which like universities, was arguably created by and made for white, cis men (Ahmed 2012; Osei-Kofi 2012; Naepi et al. 2017; Akenahew and Naepi 2015). This paper examines the current diversity of Aotearoa New Zealand’s scientific workforce, with a particular focus on Māori and Pasifika. We will address the following questions:
  1. How many Māori and Pasifika scientists are employed in Aotearoa New Zealand’s universities and CRIs?
  2. How has the percentage of Māori and Pasifika scientists in these institutions changed between 2008 and 2018?

Methods

Data collection

Data was requested from universities and CRIs by emailing key individuals within each organisation in 2019. Data from 2008 to 2018 on the percentage of scientists, relative to both the total headcount and the total number of full-time equivalents (FTEs) for each recorded ethnicity employed was requested from CRIs and universities. Both the nature of responses to this request and the time it took to receive a response varied among institutions. Responses from institutions ranged from an openness and willingness to contribute data to this project to hostility and racist remarks. Several institutions did not respond to multiple email requests. A subsequent email sent by a Principal Advisor from the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor elicited a prompt response from all remaining institutions. After initial conversations with staff from HR departments and university management, it was agreed that all institutions would remain anonymous and we believe that this contributed significantly to increasing the willingness of institutions to contribute data. Overall, data was obtained from 14 out of 15 of Aotearoa New Zealand’s universities and CRIs. At most of these institutions staff self-declare their ethnicities and are given multiple choices, where data was provided for multiple ethnicities we used the first reported ethnicity,

Data from universities

Seven out of eight universities contributed data directly to this project, whereas data for university B was extracted from annual reports. Ethnicity data in the form of FTEs and headcount data was provided by most universities. Māori and Pasifika academics are more likely to be employed on contracts of less than one FTE compared to Pākehā academics (unpublished data). We therefore present the percentage of FTEs of staff for each recorded ethnicity, rather than headcount data as it is likely to be a more accurate measure of diversity. Recorded ethnicity groups differed among some universities, mainly in the fact that some distinguished between ‘European’ and ‘NZ European/Pākehā’, whereas at others these two ethnicities were combined.
It is important to note that the data from universities presented in this paper includes academic staff and excludes research staff, including post-doctoral fellows and laboratory technicians. Data on the number of scientists employed at universities also only includes scientists employed in science departments (i.e. excludes Māori scientists in health departments). However, a recent paper published by Naepi et al. (2020) showed that in 2017, there were only 55 Māori and 20 Pasifika postdoctoral fellows across all faculties in all of Aotearoa New Zealand’s universities. The number of Māori and Pasifika postdoctoral fellows employed in science faculties is, therefore, likely to be very small. Academic staff includes other academic staff, senior tutors, tutors, tutorial assistants, lecturers, senior lecturers, associate professors and professors. Previous research has shown that a large proportion of Māori and Pasifika academics are employed as tutors and other academic staff rather than in permanent senior academic positions (see Naepi 2019), so this is also likely to be the case within science faculties.
Concerningly, two universities (university E and H) were unable to provide data for the requested 11-year period (i.e. from 2008 to 2018). Upon querying this with human resource (HR) departments, their reasons included but were not limited to the following:

Data from crown-research institutes

Data, in some shape or form, was obtained from six out of seven of Aotearoa New Zealand’s CRIs. Obtaining accurate and consistent temporal data from CRIs was, despite their willingness, much more difficult than from universities. The MoE requires certain ethnicity data from universities in a particular format (see MoE date unknown), however the diversity of staff employed at Aotearoa New Zealand’s seven CRIs is currently not required by an external organisation. Most CRIs were unable to provide FTE data but were able to provide headcount data, consequently we present the headcount data in this report. Because the data from CRIs was highly variable, we were not prescriptive about how they defined a scientist, however at most institutions this included post-doctoral fellows and scientists.
Data on the percentage of Māori and Pasifika scientists employed from 2008 to 2018 could only be obtained from four out of seven of the CRIs. CRI F could only provide ethnicity for staff that were recent hires from 2016 to 2018, meaning we are unable to differentiate between science and non-science staff and data on staff employed prior to 2016 was unavailable. CRI E could only provide data for 2019, the year that we had asked for it, due to their HR system overwriting data and therefore having no historical record of staff ethnicity.
The ethnicity data from CRIs, with the exception of CRI B, can only be viewed as indicative due to inconsistencies in how CRIs collect data. Data from most institutions was therefore not conducive to any temporal or statistical analyses. For example, at CRI A over the 11-year period, the ethnicity categories offered to staff changed four times. Māori and Pasifika were consistently given as options, which provides some level of confidence in CRI A’s ethnicity data.

Results

Māori scientists employed in Aotearoa New Zealand’s universities

Before even considering the data presented below, we must acknowledge and highlight that science faculties within universities are generally not safe and inclusive environments for Māori and Pasifika academic staff. Reasons for this include that being the only Indigenous person in a faculty puts that one under extreme pressure to help colleagues, indigenise curriculum, support Indigenous students while also advancing their own career (Mercier et al. 2011; Kidman et al. 2015). It is well established that the job satisfaction of Māori academics is influenced by their proximity to other Māori academics (Mercier et al. 2011; Kidman et al. 2015). The interdisciplinary work of Māori scientists also often does not align with what the academy and their Pākehā counterparts define as ‘science’ and many scholars have explored this (see for example, McKinley 2005; Mercier 2014; Hikuroa 2017). Consequently, of the few Māori scientists that exist and survive within academia, several are employed outside of science faculties (see for example, Mercier 2014). This data therefore is likely to very slightly underestimate the numbers of Māori scientists within the academy. Furthermore, in the present paper we focus on Māori and Pasifika scientists in science faculties but there will also be Māori and Pasifika scientists in social science and humanities and health faculties, which will not be captured by the data reported below.
Māori are under-represented in science faculties at all of Aotearoa New Zealand’s eight universities (Table 1). University A had the highest level of representation, which may be attributed to the science faculty being combined with another discipline at this particular university (Table 1). From 2008 to 2018, University D has never employed a Māori academic in their science faculty (Table 1). Māori comprised less than 5% of the total FTEs in science faculties at all other universities between 2008 and 2018, the averages were 4.3, 1.4, 1.6, 3.7 and 0.6% respectively at University B, C, E, F and H (Table 1). Importantly, there were no significant differences between the percentage of Māori FTEs in 2008 and 2018 (paired t-test: t10 = −0.24, p = 0.82). Thus, meaning that over 11 years there has been no improvement in Māori representation in science faculties (Table 1).

Table 1. The percentage of Māori and Pasifika full-time equivalents (FTEs) of academic staff in science faculties at each of Aotearoa New Zealand’s eight universities. University A and G both have a combined faculty (i.e. science and another discipline) whereas all other universities have separate faculties and data is solely for science faculties. University E was unable to provide FTE data prior to 2011 and university H was only able to provide data from 2015.

CSVDisplay Table

Māori scientists employed in Aotearoa New Zealand’s crown-research institutes

Promisingly, and in contrast with patterns of Māori scientists at universities the percentage of Māori scientists (i.e. of the total headcount) employed by CRIs has increased from 2008 to 2018 at half (2/4) of the CRIs that were able to provide temporal data (Table 2). At CRI A, Māori comprised 1.8% of the scientists employed in 2008 and this steadily increased to 3.8% in 2018 (Table 2). Similarly at CRI B, the percentage of Māori scientists have increased from 3.4% to 7.8% respectively (Table 2). At CRI C, Māori have comprised between 0.01% and 0.03% of scientists employed over a period of 11 years and at CRI D it has varied between 0% and 0.6% (Table 2).

Table 2. The percentage of Māori and Pasifika scientists of the total headcount employed by each of Aotearoa New Zealand’s crown-research institutes. CRI E could only provide data for 2019 and CRI F only had data for new recruits from 2016–2018. CRI G did not contribute data to this research.

CSVDisplay Table
Certain CRIs are doing better than others, it is however important to note, particularly given CRIs outward espousals of commitments to and valuing ‘Māori research’ and mātauranga (i.e. GNS 2018), that Māori remain under-represented in all CRIs in Aotearoa New Zealand, including CRI A and B (Table 2). Additionally, the fact that three out of seven of the CRIs could not provide sufficient data suggests that these institutions have a lot of work to do in collecting data on the diversity of the staff that they employ.

Pasifika scientists employed in Aotearoa New Zealand’s universities and crown-research institutes

There is currently an absence of research into the experiences of Pasifika scientists in Aotearoa-New Zealand’s science system. However like Māori scientists, Pasifika scientists are likely to be marginalised and under-valued within the current science system. Pasifika scientists in both universities and CRIs are extremely under-represented (Tables 1 and 2). Notably of the 11 institutions (inclusive of universities and CRIs) that provided data only three reported having Pasifika representation exceeding 1% of either the total headcount or total number of FTEs in more than one year (Tables 1 and 2). Four institutions (one university and three CRIs) reported having employed zero Pasifika scientists for 11 consecutive years (Tables 1 and 2). Importantly, there were no significant differences between the percentage of Pasifika FTEs in universities in 2008 and 2018 (paired t-test: t8 = 0.36, p = 0.73). Thus, meaning that over 11 years there has been no improvement in Pasifika representation in science faculties (Table 2).
The patterns in the percentage of both Māori and Pasifika scientists employed at university G were very different from all other institutions (Table 1). Firstly, university G was the only university that in some years employed more Pasifika than Māori scientists (Table 1). In 2008, 7.4% of FTEs in the science faculty of university G belonged to Pasifika scientists, which was the highest recorded in all eight institutions over 11 years (Table 1). However, Pasifika scientists in this faculty had only 4.4 FTEs in 2008, meaning that 7.4% equated to five Pasifika staff (data not shown).

The diversity of scientists employed in science faculties in Aotearoa New Zealand’s universities

Between 2008 and 2018, the majority of academics in the Computing and Mathematical Sciences, Engineering and Science departments at university D were European comprising between 58.7% and 85.2% of the total FTEs (Figure 1(A)). University D distinguishes between ‘European’ and ‘New Zealand European/Pākehā’ and the data presented in Figure 1(A) suggests that not many academics in these departments associate with the latter group. Thus, suggesting that most academics employed within these departments are from overseas. In these departments (i.e. Computing and Mathematical Sciences, Engineering and Science) between 2008 and 2018 there was a consistent increase in the percentage of FTEs of Asian ethnicities (12.3% increase in Computing and Mathematical Sciences, 6.8% in Engineering, 2.4% in Science; Figure 1(A)).
Figure 1. (A) The percentage of full-time equivalents (FTEs) for each recorded ethnicity in three science faculties at university D in2008 and 2018 and (B) the percentage of Māori and Pasifika FTEs in those three faculties for academic staff from 2008–2018.
Note: In both the Engineering and Science departments there were no Māori or Pasifika employed between 2008 and 2018.
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The data provided by university D clearly illustrates a severe lack of Māori and Pasifika academic staff representation in sciences faculties (Figure 1(B)). It shows that in two of the three departments, there have never been any Māori academics employed (Figure 1(B)). Furthermore, in those three departments no Pasifika academic staff have been employed in 11 years (2008–2018). Māori academics have comprised 4.1%–7.5% of the total FTEs in the Computing and Mathematical Science department (Figure 1).
NZ European/Pākehā formed the majority (52.8%–63.6%) of academic staff employed in the science faculty of university B and this percentage has decreased by 11.8% between 2008 and 2018 (Figure 2). People who did not declare their ethnicity (unknown) comprised a small percentage (average = 3.2% of the total FTEs; Figure 2). European academics made up on average 20% of the total FTEs employed in this faculty between 2008 and 2018 (Figure 2). Māori and Pasifika scientists were under-represented, comprising on average 6.0% and 2.6% respectively (Figure 2). The percentage of Māori FTEs has decreased from 7.3% (2008) to 6.4% (2018), whereas the percentage Pasifika FTEs has increased from 2.0% to 4.8% over the 11-year period (2008–2018; Figure 2). However, there was no statistically significant difference between both Māori and Pasifika FTEs over time (p > 0.05).
Figure 2. The percentage offull-time equivalents (FTEs) for each recorded ethnicity at university B from 2008 to 2018.
Note: University B has a combined science faculty (i.e. science and another discipline).
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The importance of department by department analysis of universities ethnicity data is highlighted when comparing the percentage of Māori FTEs university-wide and the science faculty (Figure 3). The average percentage of Māori FTEs university wide at university F was 4.7% from 2008 to 2018, whereas it was consistently lower within the science faculty (Figure 3). Similarly, representation of Pasifika academics in the science faculty at university F was much lower compared to the entire university (Figure 4). The average between 2008 and 2018 was 1.5% of Pasifika FTEs across the university whereas it was only 0.4% in the science faculty (Figure 4).
Figure 3. The percentage of Māori full-time equivalents (FTEs) of academics in both the science facultyand across the entire university at university F.
Note: y axis is limited to 15%.
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Figure 4. The percentage of Pasifika full-time equivalents (FTEs) for academic staff in both the science faculty across the entire university at university F.
Note: The y axis is limited to 15%.
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The diversity of scientists employed in Aotearoa New Zealand’s crown-research institutes

CRI B was the only CRI that was able to provide relatively good quality, temporal data. Data from this institution indicated that African scientists made up approximately 1% of scientists employed from 2016 to 2018 and both Asian and Australian scientists have made up on average 5.4% and 5.0% respectively of the total headcount from 2008 to 2018 (Figure 5). The percentage of European scientists has increased steadily from 16.1% in 2008 to 23.5% in 2018 (Figure 5). The percentage of Māori scientists employed has also increased from 3.4% in 2008 to 7.8% in 2018 (Figure 5). Although this increase is promising, Māori remain under-represented within this institution. Interestingly, the percentage of NZ European/Pākehā employed at CRI B has decreased from 64.9% (2008) to 45.3% (2018; Figure 5). This may speak to the increasing value the science system places on international expertise, whereby scientists from overseas or with international experience are valued more than those from Aotearoa, which is driven in a large part by global ranking systems that value international staff recruitment (Stack 2016). This is driven largely by the increasing importance placed on international university ranking systems. Importantly, scientists coming from overseas will likely have very little understanding of things that are highly important within the context of Aotearoa (e.g. te Tiriti o Waitangi). Considering the data presented, urgent action is required to address this apparent selection of international scientists over Māori and Pasifika scientists. Rather than copying and pasting a blanket statement in job advertisements of empty words like the following: ‘The University of Canterbury actively seeks to meet its obligation under the Treaty of Waitangi | Te Tiriti o Waitangi’ (UoC date unknown), CRIs and universities need to be actively recruiting Māori and Pasifika scientists and hence need to consider the following questions when hiring new staff:
  1. How is this person likely to contribute to the uplifting of Māori communities in a meaningful way?
  2. Do they have any experience working with Indigenous communities?
  3. What is their understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the Treaty of Waitangi?
  4. How do you see your role as supporting our institution's commitments to Pasifika communities?
Figure 5. Percentage of the total headcount for each recorded ethnicity at crown-research institute (CRI) B from 2008 to 2018.
Note: Ethnicity groups in this graph differ from previous graphs.
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CRI E were only able to supply data in the year that it was requested (i.e. 2019) due to their HR systems. In 2019, this particular CRI employed zero Pasifika scientists and 1.6% of scientists were Māori (Figure 6). The majority of scientists employed at CRI E in 2019 were NZ European/Pākehā (55.0% NZ European) and 21.5% were ‘European’ (Figure 6).
Figure 6. The percentage of the total headcount of each recorded ethnicity at crown-research institute (CRI) E in 2019.
Note: Ethnicity groupings differ from previous graphs.
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CRI F only began collecting ethnicity data, despite previously collecting gender data, in 2016. Their data was also only collected for new recruits. We were, therefore, unable to disaggregate science staff from general and non-science staff. From 2016 to 2018 the majority (59%–66%) of new recruits were ‘NZ Europeans’. In 2017, 14% of new recruits were Pasifika whereas in 2016 and 2018 there were no Pasifika recruits. Māori comprised between 2% of new recruits in 2017 and 2018 but 8% in 2016 (data not shown)...."
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[Results] Do you like ice-cream? (all about names)

Now, for anyone who didn't take part in this survey, let me briefly explain. This survey wasn't actually about ice-cream. What I set out to investigate was how willing people are to give out their own name online on a survey. To do this I put together a seemingly innocent survey purporting to be about ice-cream. Respondents were first asked for some demographic information, with a question asking for their name included, before being asked the "actual" question of Do you like ice-cream? on the next page. On the final page the ruse was revealed and respondents were asked how they responded to the name question: with their real name, another name, or something that's not a name at all, i.e. a non-name.
I got 915 responses from over 60 countries, which I was very pleased with. So thank you very much to everyone who took part!
Although the ice-cream question wasn't actually the main focus of the survey, I've put together the results of that question too for anyone who's interested, which I'll post in a comment below.
Without further ado, the results:
Just over half of respondents gave their real name. Interestingly, for the first few hours of the survey, the three options were consistently roughly even, at about a third each (and so the majority were not giving their real name). It was quite a bit later on that the real name preference started to show. This is probably a reflection of the different demographics of people on SampleSize at different times of day.
There isn't much difference across gender, with a similar percentage giving their real name for all three options. However, non-binary people were the most likely to give a non-name and the least likely to give a fake name while women were at the opposite end, being the least likely to give a non-name and the most likely to give a fake name, with men in the middle.
There is a very clear trend of younger people being more likely to give their own name and older people being less likely to. It's worth noting that a suspiciously high number of people in their 60s were 69, which may explain the high proportion of 'joke' non-name responses.
Canada and Australia had a notably lower proportion giving their real name than other countries. The Netherlands had the smallest proportion to give a fake name.
And just for fun:
It seems people who don't like ice-cream are less willing to give their real name but quite unlikely to give a fake name, much preferring a non-name. This could indicate some of these are joke responses.
A couple of things to bear in mind:
Last points:
Most people who gave their real name gave only their first name. A small minority gave their full name.
About three quarters of 'another name' responses seem feasible while a quarter did not (e.g. names like Ben Dover or Jennifer Lopez).
Some favourite responses to What is your name?:
Edit: Link to original thread.
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Addressing Canada’s Employment Insurance Gap For Self-Employed Workers

Source: TD
Ksenia Bushmeneva, Economist
Dated July 15th, 2020

Highlights


Chart 1 - Workers in More Precarious Employment See Steep Job Losses

Chart 2 - COVID-19 Self-employed to Cut Hours Worked Drastically

EI Leaves Many Non-Standard Workers Behind


Chart 3 - Self-employed Workers Much More Likely to Apply for CERB

Chart 4 - Prevalence of Self-employment Varies by Province

What Complicates Offering EI Coverage For Non-Standard Workers


Chart 5 - Maternity and Family Benefits Available to Self-employment

Chart 6 - Sickness, Disability, and Work Injury Coverage Available to Self-Employed

Some Solutions Based on The International Experience


Chart 7 - Unemployment Benefits Coverage Options to Self-employed

Chart 8 - Old-age Pensions Coverage Options Available to Self-employed

Concluding Remarks


References

  1. “Employment Insurance Coverage Survey, 2018”. Statistics Canada. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/191114/dq191114a-eng.htm
  2. Sunil Johal & Erich Hartmann. “Facilitating the Future of Work Through Modernizing EI System”. The Mowat Center. https://ppforum.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/PPF-Modernizing-EI-for-Future-of-Work-April-2019-EN.pdf
  3. Antonia Asenjo and Clemente Pignatti. “Unemployment insurance schemes around the world: Evidence and policy options.” International Labour Office. https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---inst/documents/publication/wcms_723778.pdf
  4. Sung-Hee Jeon and Yuri Ostrovsky. “The impact of COVID-19 on the gig economy: Short- and long-term concerns”. Statistics Canada. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/en/pub/45-28-0001/2020001/article/00021-eng.pdf?st=x8kZDLV7
  5. Sunil Johal & Erich Hartmann. “Facilitating the Future of Work Through Modernizing EI System”. The Mowat Center. https://ppforum.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/PPF-Modernizing-EI-for-Future-of-Work-April-2019-EN.pdf Ibid.
  6. “Evaluation of the Employment Insurance Special Benefits for Self-employed Workers”. Employment and Social Development Canada. https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/reports/evaluations/2016-ei-special-benefits.html
  7. “The Future of Social Protection: what works for non-standard workers?” OECD. https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/9789264306943-en/1/2/1/index.html?itemId=/content/publication/9789264306943-en&_csp_=60072f6c81e5afb306d1ad580d284396&itemIGO=oecd&itemContentType=book#chapter-d1e549 Ibid.
  8. “Key Small Business Statistics - January 2019”. Statistics Canada. https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/061.nsf/eng/h_03090.html#point1-3 Ibid.
  9. “Government Response To The Fifth Report Of The Standing Committee on The Status of Women. Interim Report on the Maternity and Parental Benefits Under Employment Insurance: the Exclusion of Self-Employed Workers.” https://www.ourcommons.ca/DocumentVieween/39-1/FEWO/report-5/response-8512-391-19
  10. “Evaluation of the Employment Insurance Special Benefits for Self-employed Workers”. Employment and Social Development Canada. https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social development/corporate/reports/evaluations/2016-ei-special-benefits.html

End Notes

  1. Since 2010 self-employed workers can voluntarily participate in EI Special Benefit for Self-Employed Workers (SBSE) to gain access to many life event-type benefits accessible to regular employees, such as maternity and paternity leave programs, leave due to sickness or to care for an sick family member. In addition to this, current EI system allows certain exceptions for some non-standard workers. For example some individuals who work independently as barbers, hairdressers, taxi drivers, drivers of other passenger vehicles are eligible to receive benefits through the regular EI program. Fishermen are also included as insured persons under the EI Fishing Regulations. In the case of the self- employed fishermen, EI qualification is tied to income. In order to qualify for up to 26 weeks of benefit, they need to have earned between $2,500 to $4,200 in the last 31 weeks.
  2. The two main reasons for not contributing to the EI program were not having worked in the previous 12 months, and non-insurable employment (which includes self-employment).
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ThisOption-- The New Age of Finance Industrial

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